Google’s version of Android can best be described as AOSP with extra features. But while the Pixel’s UI is rightly praised for its simplicity, those “extra features” aren’t quite as numerous as with other OEM skins like Samsung’s One UI. Example: There is no true system-wide audio EQ.
In the past, getting a true system-wide audio equalizer on your Pixel meant flashing a root mod like Viper Audio, but new Android APIs have allowed apps to do this without superuser access. And while there are several new EQ apps out there that can do the trick, this is one category with a clear front runner: Wavelet.
: Install Wavelet
The best app to get a system-wide EQ on your Pixel is Developer Thomas Dewitt’s Wavelet. What’s special about this one is that you can use different equalizer presets for your different audio outputs, for example one for your phone’s speakers, one for your headphones, and another for your Bluetooth speaker.
You can install the app by searching for “Wavelet” in your Play Store app, but be careful not to confuse the app with the meditation app of the same name. So if you prefer, you can just tap on the link below to go straight to the installation page.
Step 2: play music
When you first start Wavelet, you will likely see a page with a large ¯ _ (?) _ / ¯ in the middle. The controls only appear when you’re actively playing music – this is to make sure you can only adjust the equalizer for the current audio output.
So you should start playing some music with your favorite music app. But don’t forget that this app allows you to set EQs per device, so this part should be more than “Press play”. Simulate the situation where you want to apply your EQ adjustments (for example by connecting your headphones), than press play.
Step 3: Find an AutoEQ profile for your headphones (optional)
If you are using headphones, this app has a great feature called “AutoEq.” Using open source code from developer Jaakko Pasanen, Wavelet includes more than 2500 presets tailored for specific headphone models.
To try it out, tap “AutoEq” at the top of the screen while playing media and connected to your headphones. From there, search for your headphones by name and select it from the prompt. Make sure to turn on the toggle switch next to “AutoEq” when you’re done, then Wavelet will automatically adjust the sound from your Pixel to provide the best overall experience with your specific headphones.
Step 4: Configure your EQ manually
If your headphones are not in the AutoEq list or if you are not using headphones, you will need to manually configure your new equalizer. Start by turning on the toggle switch next to ‘Graphic Equalizer’ and then tap the text ‘Graphic Equalizer’ itself.
From here you can tap the “Presets” button at the top of the screen to make simple adjustments. These are profiles that can give your audio a bass boost, spice things up, or even make everything a little louder and punchier. The changes take effect immediately, so try them all out!
But if none of the presets work for you, scroll to the bottom of the list and select “Personal”. Then tap the “Presets” button on the bottom sheet, you’ll see sliders for the different frequencies your phone can output. Adjust each of them to your liking then press “OK” to get a fully adjusted EQ.
Step 5: Hide the persistent notification (optional)
To make sure it isn’t being closed by Android’s memory management system, Wavelet posts an ongoing notification. You cannot ignore it, but you can delete it without further ado.
To do this, long press the “Speaker connected” notification and tap the “Turn off notifications” button in the menu that appears. Then turn off the toggle switch next to ‘All Wavelet Notifications’ and hit ‘Apply’.
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